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Italy added another 305 victims to his officer coronavirus death toll the same day it joined the rest of the European Union in launching a vaccination Bell.

Another 8,913 people tested positive yesterday, far fewer than in recent days. But with the Christmas holiday weekend, far fewer tests were done.

Italy leads Europe in the official death toll from COVID-19 with 71,925 victims, although authorities say the actual number is much higher due to early undetected infections and testing limitations.

Family members cuddle inside a cuddle room set up at the Villa Troisi Rest House in Montefalcione, Italy.  The Hug Room in Campania was an initiative of the A5 Consortium to allow, after long months of isolation due to restrictive anti-COVID-19 measures, the elderly guests of the social welfare structures to meet closely with their families and be able to hug and hold hands
Family members cuddle inside a cuddle room set up at the Villa Troisi Rest House in Montefalcione, Italy. The Hug Room in Campania was an initiative of the A5 Consortium to allow, after long months of isolation due to restrictive anti-COVID-19 measures, the elderly guests of the social welfare structures to meet closely with their families and be able to hug and hold hands (Getty)

Italy began on Sunday administering the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic since Italy in late February became the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe.

Meanwhile, December has been the deadliest month in the US since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 63,000 Americans lost to the virus in the past 26 days.

By comparison, the entire month of November saw around 36,964 deaths.

The terrible death toll comes on the heels of several brutal months for the United States, with COVID-19 devastating communities from coast to coast, crippling hospital systems and prompting widespread new restrictions.

The authorization of two COVID-19 vaccines in early December offered some hope for a light at the end of the tunnel.

But experts continue to warn that while the end is in sight, the pandemic is not over and another wave stemming from the Christmas holidays could be on the way.

“It is very possible that we will see a post-season increase, in the Christmas, New Years sense,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN. State of the union yesterday, noting vacation trips and private gatherings that take place despite the advice of health experts.

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert described the potential increase in cases as an “increase upon an increase”, telling CNN’s Dana Bash: “If you look at the slope, the slope of cases that we have experienced as we move forward. In the late fall and early early winter, it’s really quite worrying. “

A member of the medical staff takes a photo while a medical worker vaccinates against the coronavirus at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel.
A member of the medical staff takes a photo while a medical worker vaccinates against the coronavirus at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel. (Getty / Amir Levy)
An electron microscope image shows spherical particles of the new coronavirus, colored blue, from the first case of COVID-19 in the United States.
An electron microscope image shows spherical particles of the new coronavirus, colored blue, from the first case of COVID-19 in the United States. (AP)

More than 1.1 million people were screened at airports on Saturday, according to the TSA, marking the third-busiest day for air travel in the United States since March.

More than 616,000 were screened on Christmas Day alone, and hundreds of thousands more traveled in the days leading up to the holidays.

COVID-19 hospitalization figures in the US are already at record highs.

On Saturday, the country recorded its fifth-highest number of hospitalizations, with more than 117,300 COVID-19 patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

– Reported with CNN and AP


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